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David is slowly adding intermediate back on to my practice. It feels totally different to be backbending on my belly. That was one of the first things to go when I was 5 months pregnant after a few dumb attempts at shoving blankets under my shoulders and pelvis to create a little room for the baby.

When I got pregnant I was at yoga nidrasana and I had that kind of scrawny look people get when they are close to splitting and the practice is sort of devouring them. Getting into kapotasana by myself took a long time, and all of the leg behind the head stuff was hard won, so I imagine it will take me a while to get back to where I was. I’m not really in any rush. The front of my body needs to stretch out again after surgery. It still feels tight in backbending and my incision feels tender if I push too hard. Also, the longer my practice gets the more jittery I get about leaving the baby.

Here’s a picture of me right around the time of conception. Look – you can play xylophone on my chest bones!

Now the only thing you can play on my chest is maybe pillow fight.

Mercedes is cool:

Driving to along Queen to pick up some merchandise for the studio, Mercedes pointed to man leaning against his ten speed bike on a street corner.

Mercedes: Oh! I thought that was a crackhead, but he is just a hipster.

Bwhahaha! Seriously, I don’t want to be a traitor to my generation or isolate myself from one of the six people in the city who didn’t vote for Rob Ford – but come on! Skinny jeans paired with ironic glasses and a beard? That look will not get you laid. Or maybe it will, in which case I need to have a serious talk with some hipster girls.

Ok. I’ll admit it. Sometimes I kinda love living where we do and listening to my neighbours blast “Jessie’s Girl”. It is a hipster-free zone. And if you think maybe someone might be a crackhead. Odds are…

Just so you know, I’m taking the whole poll thing very seriously. It has been a big topic of discussion in my household. For a while, “My super-exciting practice” was totally in the lead and I talked to Mercedes about feeling a little silly about subjecting everyone to endless baby pictures. Later I noticed that someone voted for the baby and I got really excited and ran downstairs to let David and Mercedes know:

Stan: Hey! Someone voted for Holden!

Mercedes: Oh… uhhh that was me.

Hahaha! I’m lame!

Ok. Here’s just a little small bit about new motherhood. If you voted for remoras – than just skip over this part: I had diaper-free time the other day and I learned some great lessons. First, be prepared for a lot of laundry, which I was. Second, you might as well get naked too and save yourself some extra laundry. Third, don’t hold the naked baby over an open drawer because if he shoots poo out then it will get in the drawer and there will be even more laundry. Fourth, once diaper-free time is over put the baby in the silliest outfit you can and it will make doing 10 pounds of laundry a piece of cake. See exhibit A – Giraffe suit:

Practice Notes – For Realz

Post-natal Ashtanga is not really quite what I expected. I’m always rushing through my closing because I’m conscious of getting out to feed the baby. Actually, often I have to stop after backbending – particularly when I am at home – to give him a snack. But I have been thinking lately that some of the poses that I stopped doing or modified during the last months of my pregnancy are really crucial for regaining my strength. Twists and closing poses seem to have a special charge.

Navasana is difficult, but the twists seem to require that I collect all the pieces of my broken little core and get them to work together again. I watched myself do revolved trikonasana and noticed that my belly was hanging down. Since then I have been trying to get those muscles to co-operate with each other. It is a different kind of work than just strongarming yourself through a vinyasa. It feels like there are two sides to my body and they don’t talk until I do mari d. David and Tim were chatting the other day about engaging the psoas muscles during headstand and that work is currently really blowing my mind. The other nice thing about closing is now that I’m not pregnant I’m not being suffocated by my boobs in shoulder stand.

Coming this week: more on c-section yoga!

Mercedes turned me on to 16 and Pregnant recently.

16 and Pregnant makes you feel super organized and on top of your shit, unlike most reality shows that just make you feel bad for watching and depressed about the state of the world. I get pretty weepy when the baby appears, as do all the grandparents (who are my age), which is nice. I hate to spread a bad habit, but if you go to the mtv.ca website under shows, you can watch all the episodes. You will have to scroll past such stellar shows as “1 girl 5 gays” though

Honestly, why haven’t I pitched a show to MTV yet? It seems like any awful thing that drifts into your head could be made into a program.

During pregnancy, I was quite into “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant’ about moms who go to the bathroom and a baby comes out in the toilet. Mercedes, the purveyor of good music and terrible television got me started on IDKIWP. That show is truly incredible, and I think the product of limited access to  health insurance in the US. I go to the doctor when my fingernails are too long, so half the show is spent in gobsmacked amazement that someone could ignore the missed periods, the weight gain, the nausea, heartburn and eventually the searing pain of labour for nine months.

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Postpartum Ashtanga Yoga Practice

It is a month since I gave birth and I have two weeks until the go ahead from my midwife to start exercising again.  I am doing all of standing first thing when I get up in the morning. I have just enough time to crawl out of bed, throw on a top and do a quick little practice in the morning before I am called to duty.

I have some twinges of pain on my right side when I do backbends from the surgery. I think that tightness will be there for a while. I am slowly accessing my strength again. It is funny, because I was lifting all that extra weight when I was pregnant and I carry the 12 lb baby around everywhere, but the strength you need for ashtanga is different. Often I feel like I have been repeatedly punched in the stomach.

I would sometimes have moms in my class that did not practice for a year after the baby was born and joined my level 1 class – something they could easily do before pregnancy. Most of them would get a bit panic stricken after the third sun salutation. I can really understand why now. Body memory or whatever is really out the door for the first little while, I think I will need to retrain my body for months maybe the next year before I can do what I was doing pre-conception. Mysore style will help with that. I don’t know if I could jump back into a led class without feeling a little defeated.

But then, anytime I start feeling a bit down about building up my practice – I remember: I’ve got the cutest baby in the universe!

Really, if I only do standing for the rest of my life it is the best trade off.

Now if I can only figure out how to get more sleep….